MESSAGE FROMTHE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS & INFORMATION SOCIETY DAY, 201717TH MAY 2017__________________________________________________________________
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and selamat sejahtera,
Every year, on the 17th of May, Brunei Darussalam and other ITU member states commemorate World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, WTISD. This year's theme is Big Data for Big Impact. This theme has been selected to highlight the role that Big Data plays in delivering a positive impact to communities and people around the world.
Big Data is an extremely important technological development. It is an umbrella term for the large amounts of digital data continually generated by various connected devices, often including emerging technological capabilities in solving complex tasks.
There is no doubt that Big Data and the Internet of Things has the potential to revolutionize the way we think, work and live. These new wave of technologies will be an important enabler in our drive to achieve a higher level of national progress and development.
Last week, over 150 countries and countless government agencies and businesses were affected by a malicious ransomware attack known as WannaCry. The extent and severity of the WannaCry attack has been nearly unprecedented, hijacking systems from hospitals to phone operators. Users were unable to access their systems unless a ransom was paid.
As we increasingly connect devices to the Internet, new opportunities to exploit potential security vulnerabilities grow. This recent cyberattack illustrates that in our excitement to embrace the latest technologies, we should not forget that the threat of cyberattacks and security hacks are more and more prevalent. Poorly secured devices could serve as entry points for cyberattack, and expose user data to various possibilities by leaving data streams inadequately protected, which, as we have seen this past week, can have global consequences.
Security considerations aside, the focus on Big Data is about turning imperfect, complex and often unstructured data into actionable information. It is about more than just using statistical analysis on large databases of information; it is an evolution in the way data-driven decisions are made.
In this day and age, there is no such thing as idle data. The vast amounts of information collected through a multitude of sources throughout our daily lives, from our smart phone to our watches to smart devices in our homes, are all a source of further innovation with potential for great commercial viability.
With security hacks becoming more and more prevalent, there is a need for more sophisticated solutions to secure our data and digital assets. Furthermore, with the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud-based applications, there are more and more vulnerable endpoints like workstations mobile devices and servers than ever before. Attacks are also more targeted and sophisticated, rendering traditional defenses ineffective.
Therefore, the security of our devices and services should be a major consideration and should be looked at as a critical issue. As we increasingly depend on these devices for essential services, we must be able to ensure that the Internet, its applications and the devices linked to it are secure, reliable, resilient and stable.
Here in Brunei Darussalam, much like in the rest of the world, the development of smart technologies along with innovative solutions and applications has resulted in the growth of Internet of Things. It is this new wave of technological revolution which will drive Brunei Darussalam's transformation into a smart society, and defines the communications technology of the future. These technologies have the potential to change everything, transforming not only the ICT industry in particular, but other key industries such as energy, health, education and so on.
The applications for Big Data are endless, and Big Data is increasingly used in innovative ways and in previous unimagined sectors. We now live in an age where we can access and share detailed transportation data on an unprecedented scale, allowing creative app developers to expand and enhance our mobility options. Imagine receiving a notification on your smartphone alerting you to traffic delays along your normal route to work. Based on this information, you take an alternative route which saves you 15 minutes. On the way to work, you notice a traffic light which is out of order. You snap a photo with your phone and send it directly to the relevant authorities via their smartphone app.
Big Data is also being used to revolutionize education, helping education providers to deliver innovative and digital learning methodologies. There is currently a high global demand for Massive Open Online Courses, and popular courses with millions of participants have the ability to generate copious amounts of learning data. This data is then leveraged in adaptive learning, a method that personalizes education materials to suit each student's unique needs.
The potential for applications and uses for Big Data are endless. There is an ever increasing array of equipment such as vehicles, public transportation and home appliances equipped with digital technology, GPS, sensors, detectors, data storage and connectivity. The key therefore is to find a way to be able to analyse, value add and repackage the information we collect in order to discover the relationships among those variables and deliver a product or service that is more citizen-centric than ever before.
It is my hope that Brunei Darussalam will soon see local app developers and solutions providers coming up with new and innovative applications to leverage on the power of analytical platforms and solutions and add value to the data available to them.
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